David Surman makes work that peers into the non-human world. By rethinking the importance of art history to our anthropocentric worldview, Surman questions the role of animals in life and art. Through painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and film, Surman takes animal bodies as his subject and considers the projection of human experience onto the natural world. With a wide-ranging set of influences at play, from the brushwork of the zen Buddhist painters and post-war expressionism to the action painters and Gutai, Surman practices a distinct painterly economy, creating works by minimal means that can be understood by everyone. The works build upon complex narratives about our connection, conduct and place in the living world. They alert us to our oversights, to our mistakes and restrictions and encourage a new way forward. They inspire a life that is lived with a heightened sense of enthusiasm, love and responsibility for the non-human world on our radically changing planet.
David Surman (b, 1981, Barnstaple, UK) lives and works in London, UK. He was born in the rural South West of England, and moved at an early age to the remote Scottish Highlands. There he apprenticed to the painter and mountaineer Rob Fairley, before moving to Wales to study animation at Newport Film School and later film at Warwick University. Recent exhibitions include Sirens, Sim Smith, London, UK (solo), How Small A Thought, Margate Art Festival, UK, Deptford X Fringe, London, UK, Paintings for the Cat Dimension, no format Gallery, London, UK. Recent curatorial projects include New Raw Green, Sim Smith, London, UK and What Kind of Spirit is This?, Sim Smith, London.